Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3751 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
on the lessees to demonstrate that their land management has had a beneficial impact on the environment during that period. This seems like a very unequal agreement in favour of the lessee as there is no incentive on the lessees to improve their leases. I have a fear that, given the limited resources that the Government is intending to put into the LMAs, these reviews will end up being fairly perfunctory.
I need to comment on Mr Smyth's comments a moment ago. It is really quite disappointing that he feels that he has to try to misrepresent what I have said. I made quite clear in my speech that I regard most rural lessees as very responsible land-holders and I would say that a responsible land-holder would not have a problem with seeing in place legislation that will ensure that everyone takes a responsible approach.
This is a debate that we often have when we have governments saying that they want to have a voluntary kind of self-regulation and what we find is that the responsible members of the group concerned often will ask for legislative force because they will be disappointed if those who are not responsible are not being held accountable. I needed to clear that up for the record. I do not know what Mr Smyth thinks he is achieving by making such incorrect statements.
This amendment will require the negotiation of a new LMA every five years and all issues relating to the LMA can be put on the table by either party at that time. Proposed new section 186CD requires the lessee to negotiate a new LMA in good faith before the expiration of the current agreement and proposed new section 186CE provides that dealing in land subject to an LMA - for example, the transfer of a lease - has no effect unless there is a current LMA. However, the Minister can waive that if negotiations on a new LMA are continuing in good faith. Proposed new section 186CF provides that if an LMA expires the land must continue to be managed according to the expired LMA. That is to cover any gap between the expiration of an LMA and the negotiation of a new LMA. Proposed new section 186CG requires that a copy of the LMA for a particular lease must be given to a new lessee.
MR CORBELL (5.04): For the clarification of other members, the Labor Party will be supporting this amendment, which seems to be a sensible mechanism to ensure that the issues raised by Ms Tucker are properly dealt with in the transition stage.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.05): Mr Speaker, the Government will be voting against the amendment. The LMA pro forma provides for review of the agreement every five years on the reissue, variation or transfer of the lease or on the written request of the lessee or of the Territory. We believe that what we have put in place is appropriate and a good process.
That the amendment (Ms Tucker's ) be agreed to.